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Processed meat boosts risk for pancreatic cancer

Sweden researchers have discovered that there is a link between eating processed meat like sausages and bacon, and pancreatic cancer, according to BBC News.

The researchers reported that eating an extra 50 grams of processed meat everyday would increase the risk for pancreatic cancer by 19%.  But the chance of developing the rare yet lethal cancer still remains low.

The World Cancer Research Fund suggests the disease has something to do with obesity.

The UK government recommended in 2011 that people should eat no more than 70 grams of meat a day.

Eating processed and red meat has already been linked with bowel cancer.

Prof Susanna  Larsson, who conducted the study at the  Karolinska Institute, told the BBC that links to other cancers were “quite controversial”.

“It is known that eating meat increases the risk of  colorectal cancer, it’s not so much known about other cancer,”  Larsson added.

The study published in the British Journal of Cancer analysed data from 11 trials and 6,643 people with pancreatic cancer.

Eating processed meat increased the risk of pancreatic cancer in both men and women.  Eating 100 grams per day increased the risk by 38 percent.

“Pancreatic cancer has poor survival rates. So as well as diagnosing it early, it’s important to understand what can increase the risk of this disease, and recommend that people eat less red meat,“ said Prof  Larsson.

Cancer Research UK said the risk of developing pancreatic cancer in a lifetime was small or 1 in 77 men and 1 in 79 women.

The charity’s information director Sara  Hiom said, “The jury is still out as to whether meat is a definite risk factor for pancreatic cancer and more large studies are needed to confirm this, but this new analysis suggests processed meat may be playing a role.”

She also pointed out that smoking was a greater risk factor.

The study also found eating red meat increased risk for pancreatic cancer in men, but not in women.

The World Cancer Research Fund has advised people to completely avoid processed meat.


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